East End Surf Challenge Profile

Jason Smith

When he’s on land, Jason Smith pursues an Associate’s Degree in Business Management.

But when he hits the water, the 18-year-old son of Steve and Sharon Smith gets down to the business of managing how to plunder the opposition.

And, all things considered, he’s a success both at home and abroad.

He’s the defending champion in the Super Stock Division in the Surf Challenge, won the 2002 Jet Around Cayman, and is a force to reckon with anytime he goes on the water.

Consider this: for the past two years he has made his mark on the international scene as well. In 2003 he was named Top Rookie in the Runabout 1200 Ltd. World Finals held on Lake Havasu, Arizona. To qualify, Smith competed in the Farthing Hot Water Tour, one of nine regions in the United States, with the top 20 riders from each going on to compete in the World Finals. The Farthing Tour encompasses Florida to Atlanta, Georgia.

He served notice that it was no fluke when he moved up to the Expert Class last year and copped third after winning both the Super Stock and Limited divisions of that year’s Tour.

Smith is also the defending ‘Nayaman’ champ at last year’s Challenge, symbolic of the best overall racer, and is generally considered to be the man to beat, the one everyone is gunning to take down.

He’s not about to take prisoners, either.

‘I do my homework, work out at the gym three times a week and never underestimate my opponents. I believe that my experience in international racing will come in very handy on the 24th of January, but I also know that there are other riders out there waiting to take me to school,’ he emphasises.

Talk to this young man and it’s not long before you realise he relishes the thought of mixing it up.

‘Yes, you have to be on the top of your game. After all, things are always changing around you. The water and the waves are unpredictable, there are powerful craft close by after the same prize as you, which means friendship doesn’t count until the races are over.’

Smith describes the upcoming Challenge as an ‘awesome’ event which combines the best in circuit and offshore racing while offering a real treat for spectators who are literally on top of the action.

Cable & Wireless backs this young man, and so does his many fans. Smith, who decided to try his competitive hand at the sport a mere four years ago, makes no bones about his intentions.

‘I hope to win, but it’s going to be a tough event,’ he says.

The problem for his opponents lies in the fact that he may be the toughest obstacle to overcome.